Ben Wallace confirms Government will remain 'totally committed' to Ukraine war effort no matter who the PM is
Mr Wallace has ruled himself out of the race for Number 10
The British government will remain "totally committed” to helping the Ukrainian war effort, no matter who replaces Boris Johnson as Prime Minister, according to the UK’s Defence Secretary.
Ben Wallace, who today ruled himself out of the race for Downing Street, said the “whole political system is supportive of what we’re doing in Ukraine".
The Defence Secretary was speaking on a visit to see the first of up to 10,000 Ukrainian recruits being trained at a British army camp in the north-west of England.
The Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has already contacted Boris Johnson to pass on his nation’s gratitude for the British Prime Minister’s “steadfast support for Ukraine from the first day of Russian terror.”
600 Ukrainian soldiers are currently being put through an intensive three week training course by British military trainers.
It follows last month’s announcement by Boris Johnson that the UK would train 10,000 new recruits to the Ukrainian armed forces here in Britian over the next 120 days.
The shortened course is designed to provide the recruits with many of the vital war fighting and medical training they need before being sent to the frontline back in Ukraine.
It is the latest package of support from the UK, worth more than £1.3 billion, which has seen Britain send thousands of anti-tank and anti-air missiles, artillery and other equipment to Ukraine.
Ben Wallace said there was no question that support would continue, whoever the new British Prime Minister was.
“Britain is four-square behind them.” He said.
“It’s not just one person you know. Not me, not the Prime Minister, it’s the whole effort.
“We’ve got the British Army up here today up in the north of England, training Ukrainians on what they need to do.
“We’ve got people in Poland and Estonia, standing by our NATO colleagues."
While the Prime Minister will be incredibly sad to leave this post.. the whole of the political system is supportive of what we’re doing in Ukraine, and don’t expect that tio finish at all.”
Mr Wallace, a former Captain of the Scots Guards, announced on Twitter that he was not running for leadership of the Conservatives.
He said: "After careful consideration and discussing with colleagues and family, I have taken the decision not to enter the contest for leadership of the Conservative Party. I am very grateful to all my parliamentary colleagues and wider members who have pledged support.
"It has not been an easy choice to make, but my focus is on my current job and keeping this great country safe. I wish the very best of luck to all candidates and hope we swiftly return to focusing on the issues that we are all elected to address."
The race for the top job has hardly begun but in the weeks ahead it’s likely all of the leadership contenders will want to reassure the government in Kiev that they’ll continue to fully support the efforts to push back Russian aggression.